Gov. Inslee receives approval of access to SBA loans for residents and businesses affected by Central Washington wildfires

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Gov. Jay Inslee today thanked the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), after the SBA declared a disaster to help home and business owners impacted by the devastating wildfires that swept through Central Washington this summer. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available to qualified businesses and residents in Okanogan County and the neighboring counties of Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Lincoln, Skagit and Whatcom.

“I commend the SBA for making this declaration,” Inslee said. “I reached out to SBA last Friday to ensure it understood the challenges facing those impacted by this disaster. We have hundreds of individuals, families, and business owners that are still struggling to fully recover from the fires over the summer. These low income loans will provide a helpful hand up to ensure these folks get back on their feet.”

Last week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency informed Inslee that his appeal for FEMA’s Individual Assistance program had been denied, which would have automatically provided grants to help impacted individuals, families and businesses. After being informed of FEMA’s decision, Inslee sought the SBA disaster declaration as an alternate way of making low-interest, long-term loans available to the affected businesses and property owners in need of financial assistance to help repair or replace disaster-related damages, including:

  • Primary residences
  • Personal property such as clothing, furniture, cars and appliances that were destroyed by the disaster
  • Machinery, equipment, fixtures and inventory

Starting tomorrow, SBA representatives will be on hand at Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in Pateros and Twisp to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application.

For more information about SBA’s disaster assistance programs, visit

Inslee is also convening representatives from state agencies to form a Recovery Task Force, which will conduct a thorough review of state-run assistance programs to ensure each program is being fully utilized to help those still recovering from the fires.

Media Contacts

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office